Movie Night! A Woman There Was
In MOVIE NIGHT I wrote about Owl & I’s proclivity for the lost films of Theda Bara. Last night we watched A WOMAN THERE WAS, a film made in 1919 which is now considered to be lost. In this film, Theda played Princess Zara.
A WOMAN THERE WAS
SCENE: A corporate board room, high above the metropolis.
(Bird shadows from birds, out-of-frame, move through otherwise spare room: shiny, long table. carpet. chairs.)
(ZARA at wall of glass, looks out. Revery: sweet gag petal wad swallowing torn flower. Rosy fumbles. Tissue.)
(A bird hits the glass.)
(ZARA touches finger to crystalline cracks.)
(ZARA abruptly turns to door.)
(PAGE enters with cart. Tea is served. PAGE departs.)
(Upon tray, an unmarked letter.)
(ZARA reads: decry whisper lonely embrace–)
(-reclining lovely abandon–)
(-creased marker remind no–)
I hope you will let me come to your court from time to time. As the wind comes. Then goes.
(ZARA’s mouth opens as in O.)
(Crumple wretched paper note.)
(CLOSE-UP: ZARA’s tear-streaked face tightening like puddles freezing o’er with ice. Her upper lip curves like an archer’s bow:)
“I HOLD NO COURT BUT WITH BIRDS ON THE WING.
IF THE WIND COMES, I HAVE SUMMONED IT.
IF NOT, I HAVE BOTTLED IT.”
(VIEW FROM DOOR: ZARA drinks tea. Shadows assemble. Thousands of birds gather, hovering, outside.)
END OF SCENE